Songs: Ohia – Love & Work: The Lioness Sessions

Style: Lo-Fi Singer/Songwriter, Slowcore, Alt-Country

Vibe: Intimate, Depressive, Romantic, Nocturnal, Sombre, Tender, Haunting, Dark, Lethargic, Lonely, Longing, Love, Poetic, Raw

Smog – Red Apple Falls

Style: Singer/Songwriter, Americana, Slowcore, Alt-Country, Loner Folk

Vibe: Existential, Warm, Morning, Spiritual, Deadpan, Peaceful, Poetic, Introspective, Lonely, Melancholy, Mellow, Contemplative, Intimate

Musical Qualities: Slow, Lo-fi, Lush, Soft, Sparse, Lyrical

Instrumentation: Pedal Steel, Piano, Hammond Organ, Guitar, Trumpet, Drums, Drum Machine, Hurdy Gurdy, French Horn

Bert Jansch – Birthday Blues

Style: Chamber Folk, British Folk, Acoustic Blues, Jazz-Folk

Vibe: Breezy, Mellow, Contemplative, Autumnal, Uplifting, Melancholy, Warm, Joyful, Love, Intertwined, Reflective, Poetic

Musical Qualities: Acoustic, Melodic, Lush, Rootsy, Bluesy, Chamber Arrangements

Instrumentation: Acoustic Guitar, Upright Bass, Flute, Saxophone, Harmonica

Leonard Cohen – New Skin for the Old Ceremony

Style: Singer/Songwriter, Chamber Folk

Vibe: Poetic, Bittersweet, Conversational, Sexual, Dry Humor, Brooding, Melancholy, Longing, Tender, Introspective, Breakup

Musical Qualities: Lush, Lyrical, Groovy, Dynamic

Instrumentation: Electric Bass, Piano, Acoustic Guitar, Backup Vocalists, Trombone, Jaw Harp, Woodwinds, Strings, Banjo, Mandolin, Trumpet, Drums, Percussion, Keyboards

mewithoutYou – Brother, Sister

Style: Post-Hardcore, Art Rock, Folk-Influenced

Vibe: Spiritual, Poetic, Angsty, Introspective, Psychedelic, Energetic, Autumnal, Passionate, Sombre

Themes: Existential, Religious (Christian), Personal, Allegory, Symbolic, Philosophical

Musical Qualities: Spoken Word, Shouting, Groovy, Lush, Dense, Dynamic, Progressive

Irreversible Entanglements – Open the Gates

Style: Free Jazz, Future Jazz, Jazz Poetry, Liberation Music

Vibe: Ritualistic, Triumphant, Aquatic, Communal, Futuristic, Philosophical, Poetic, Anthemic, Cerebral, Confident, Conscious, Determined, Epic, Existential, Groovy, Healing, Heavy, Liberation, Political, Powerful, Rebellious, Evocative, Mystical, Intertwined

Musical Qualities: Thematic, Collective Improvisation, Acoustic Instrumentation, Spoken Word, Progressive Structures, Rhythmic, Polyphonic, Dynamic, Complex, Dub Fx

Jamire Williams – But Only After You Have Suffered

Style: Future Jazz, Organic Beat Music, Jazz Rap, Collage Pop

Vibe: Triumphant, Spiritual, Quilted, Poetic, Communal, Conscious, Christian

Musical Qualities: Sound Collage, Vignettes, Sampling, Beats, Rapping, Spoken Word, Rhythmic, Polished, Loops

Gratien Midonet – A Cosmic Poet from Martinique 1979-1989

Style: Cosmic Folk, Caribbean Folk

Vibe: Mystical, Tropical, Poetic, Cosmic, Earthy, Ecletic, Intertwined, Groovy, Spiritual

Musical Qualities: Percussive, Polyrhythmic, Repetitive, Dense, Technical, Polished

Instrumentation: Keyboards, Acoustic Guitar, Percussion, Vocals, Electric Bass

Moor Mother – Black Encyclopedia of the Air

Style: Experimental Hip-Hop

Vibe: Futuristic, Mellow, Aquatic, Brooding, Cryptic, Haunting, Liberation, Philosophical, Poetic, Ritualistic, Spiritual, Sombre, Sci-Fi

Musical Qualities: Rap, Vocal Manipulations, Glitchy, Sampling, Digital, Spoken Word, Catchy, Suite, Percussive, Sound Collage

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – Skeleton Tree

On this mournful offering, Cave’s poetic reflections on loss, longing, and loneliness slowly float down a river of gloomy synth drones, somber strings, and sparse piano. While not exactly uplifting, the album has a sense of peace and beauty that continues up through the repeating final refrain, “and it’s alright now”.

Archie Shepp – Attica Blues

Style: Soul-Jazz, Avant-Garde Big Band, Vocal Jazz

Vibe: Conscious, Communal, Political, Passionate, Poetic, Groovy, Lush

Musical Qualities: Suite, Orchestral, Improvisation, Rhythmic, Spoken Word

Lonnie Holley & Matthew E. White – Broken Mirror

Style: Abstract Groove, Psychedelic Funk, Cosmic Blues, Trip-Hop

Vibe: Stream-of-Consciousness, Reflective, Futuristic, Mechanical, Jagged, Groovy, Psychedelic, Spacey, Poetic, Driving, Anxious

Musical Qualities: Rhythmic, Dub, Cut Up, Vocal Improvisation, Dense, Percussive

Armand Hammer & The Alchemist – Haram

Style: Hardcore Boom-Bap, Experimental Hip-Hop

Vibe: Gritty, Cerebral, Ominous, Futuristic, Restrained, Cryptic, Spiritual, Storytelling, Urban, Powerful

Musical Qualities: Beats, Sampling, Rhythmic

Bobby Brown – The Enlightening Beam of Axonda

Style: Experimental Songwriter, Spiritual Folk, Avant-Folk, Outsider Folk

Vibe: Spiritual, Adventure, Alienation, Cathartic, Cryptic, Eccentric, Existential, Loner, Poetic, Psychedelic, Storytelling, Tribal, Tropical, Warm

Musical Qualities: Homemade Instruments, Acoustic, One Man Band, Percussive, Spoken Word, Progressive

Christian Scott Atunde Adjuah – Ancestral Recall

Style: Organic Beat Music, Spiritual Jazz, Cybernetic Jazz, Progressive Jazz

Vibe: Ritualistic, Triumphant, Poetic, Tribal, Afro-Futurism, Epic, Moody, Earthy

Musical Qualities: Beats, Structured Improvisation, Polyrhythmic, Progressive, Percussive

Gil Scott-Heron – Pieces of a Man

Style: Soul Jazz, Singer/Songwriter, Jazz-Funk

Vibe: Conscious, Bittersweet, Political, Uplifting, Sunny, Warm, Urban, Sombre, Poetic, Contemplative, Observant, Passionate, Determined, Confident

Musical Qualities: Groovy, Lush, Spoken Word, Technical

Sélène Saint-Aimé – Mare Undarum

Style: Avant Chamber-Jazz, Vocal Spiritual Jazz

Vibe: Ritualistic, Poetic, Complex, Hypnotic, Nocturnal, Passionate, Mellow

Musical Attributes: Progressive, Thematic Improvisation, Rhythmic, Chamber, Percussive

Slint – Spiderland

Style: Post-Rock, Math Rock, Post-Hardcore, Slowcore

Vibe: Angsty, Angular, Cold, Heavy, Impressionistic, Suspenseful

Lyrical Themes: Alienation, Existential, Poetic, Storytelling

Musical Attributes: Dynamic, Slow, Dissonant, Raw, Repetitive

Mount Eerie – Sauna

Style: Experimental Singer/Songwriter, Avant-Folk, Drone

Vibe: Winter, Existential, Imaginative, Introspective, Contemplative, Epic, Philosophical, Poetic, Ethereal, Loner, Meditative, Eclectic

Musical Attributes: Atmospheric, Droney, Lo-Fi, Lyrical, Progressive

The Incredible String Band – U

Style: Psychedelic Folk, Brit-Folk

Vibe: Theatric, Colorful, Eccentric, Eclectic, Imaginative, Messy, Mystical, Playful, Surreal, Warm

Musical Attributes: Acoustic, Lyrical, Conceptual, Indian-Influenced

Lyrics: Storytelling, Philosophical, Fantasy, Humorous, Poetic

Doug Carn – Spirit of the New Land

Style: Spiritual Jazz, Black Liberation Music, Vocal Jazz

Vibe: Triumphant, Uplifting, Conscious, Groovy, Passionate, Poetic, Cathartic, Spiritual

Musical Attributes: Improvisation, Dynamic, Acoustic, Progressive, Rhythmic, Technical, Melodic, Complex

Lonnie Holley – Mith

Style: Experimental Singer-Songwriter, Soul Blues, Psychedelic Soul

Vibe: Imaginative, Bluesy, Cathartic, Conscious, Cosmic, Spiritual, Heartfelt, Passionate, Psychedelic, Rootsy, Bittersweet, Poetic

Lyrical Themes: Existential, Afro-Futurism, History, Racism, Reflective

Musical Attributes: Atmospheric, Lyrical, Improvisation, Raw, Studio-as-an-Instrument

Instrumentation: Vocals, Piano, Synthesizers, Keyboards, Saxophone, Trombone, Percussion

The Microphones – The Glow Pt. 2

Style: Lo-Fi, Experimental Singer/Songwriter, Loner Folk
Vibe: Heartfelt, Imaginative, Introspective, Nature, Intimate, Loner, Bittersweet, Depressive, Psychedelic, Raw, Lonely
Lyrical Themes: Existential, Alienation, Breakup, Philosophical, Poetic, Personal, Death
Musical Attributes: Acoustic, Noisy, Studio-as-an-Instrument, Analogue Recording, lo-fi, Distorted

Jamila Woods – Heavn

Style: Soul, Art Pop

Vibe: Confident, Heartfelt, Introspective, Colorful, Triumphant, Uplifting, Urban, Loner

Lyrical Themes: Conscious, Poetic, Political, Personal, Black Pride, Love, Feminist

Musical Attributes: Groovy, Lush, Headphone Album, Polished, Catchy, Technical

Irreversible Entanglements – Who Sent You?

Irreversible Entanglements follows up the scathing fire music of their debut with regenerative and ritualistic earth music. “Who Sent You?”, is a record that looks not only to the violent “rhythms of oppression”, past and present, that need to be burnt to the ground, but to a future built from the ashes of these unjust systems. Irreversible Entanglements are simply one of the most powerful bands in existence, building their symbiotic improvisations with fervent passion, hypnotic rhythm, and urgent truths.

Sufjan Stevens – Illinois

Released in 2005 on Asthmatic Kitty Records Format: LPx2 Listen: Purchase: https://asthmatickitty.com/merch/illinois/